A NEW CHALLANGE!! “Hit and Miss” engines, popular sources of mechanical power from about
t 1890 through 1940’s, were used to generated power for a variety of uses on land as well as on sea-going craft. One of these rare engines, a G. D. Thorndyke 2 HP unit, was in the Cooper House when it was gifted to the Society. The history of our engine is unknown; however knowing that the building was once owned by C. A. Small who with B. F. Small operated a few sailing vessels, we logically believe it was once used as a labor-saving device about a vessel.
Past President Al Sousa will lead the task of restoring our hit and miss engine tagged G. Thorndyke, 2 horsepower, Serial No. 102734. Fortunately the engine is nearly intact but there are many unknowns needing solutions before our final goal can be reached.
Researching the Internet, we know that George D. Thorndyke was born in the Rockland, ME area in 1872. The Portland City Directory 1903 lists him as a clerk at R. M. S. (?); According to the 1905-1908 edition of the same publication George is Proprietor of the Mainus Motor Works, gas engines and boats. The G. D. Thorndyke Machine Co. seems to have been organized in 1909 and existed until George died in 1918.
Further research indicates the “Thorndyke” engines were actually made by the United Engine Co. and “re-tagged” THORNDYKE giving Mr. Thorndyke his private brand of engine. So research must continue to learn about the actual manufacturer; parts lists; availability thereof. We must solicit the help of other organizations with similar interests.
To all readers - this is an appeal for help and suggestions.